Yaron Matras is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Manchester, and Editor of the journal Romani Studies. His involvement with Romani issues began in the advocacy and civil rights arena. Matras was media relations officer to the Roma National Congress from 1988 -1995, and founding editor of RomNews, one of the very first advocacy information services on Romani issues. He has worked closely with the Open Society Institute's Roma programmes, is a founding member of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies, and has led several large-scale research projects on Romani language and culture, including an international research consortium on Romani migrations. He is the author of over a dozen books and numerous chapters and articles on Romani language and culture, and speaks the Romani language fluently.
Compassionate and knowledgeable ... Yaron Matras is an authority on
gypsies * London Evening Standard *
a historical and linguistic survey of the Roma ... at its best ... it homes in on the possibility that the Roma problem has nothing to do with the Roma, but with the "paradigmatic dilemma" they raise * Guardian *
As the title of his book suggests, the Roma are lucky in their strong family values, their international outlook and their strong survival instinct. But as Matras also makes clear, those of us who have met and made friends among the Roma people are also lucky * Telegraph *
Yaron Matras skilfully debunks the numerous myths surrounding Romani life, and reveals the history and diversity of this culture across the world. The portraits of Romani people are sparky and thought-provoking ... required reading for anyone who presumes to have views on Romani Gypsies * Financial Times *
Romani history is unseen and unrecognised. Matras synthesises what facts we have to create a visible, compelling record * Independent *
When students, journalists and policy-makers approach me enquiring about a definitive book on 'The Roma' I will always tell them it does not exist. Instead, I suggest they visit their local library and read widely and then speak with the Roma, Gypsies and Travellers that will doubtless be staying in their own towns and cities. After making this important point regarding direct contact, I will then point them to the likes of Angus Fraser's book, The Gypsies. Now, however, I will direct such interested parties to Yaron Matras's exceptional new book I Met Lucky People: The Story of the Romani Gypsies. Written in a direct, accessible and informed manner, this text should be seen as the literary starting point for all serious enquiries regarding Europe's largest minority population, the Roma. For a linguist, Matras is no slouch as a critical social scientist and the commitment, passion and intellect on the pages of this book will hopefully inspire readers to see 'The Roma', in all their diverse groupings and communities, in a new, informed light. I recommend this text without reservation * Colin Clark, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy University of the West of Scotland *